Why Do We Sweat More In High Humidity? When there's a lot of water already in the air (days with a dew point above 70F) your body has a much tougher time cooling itself naturally, by evaporating sweat off your skin. You're more likely to overheat, with unpleasant and even dangerous implications. Here's an excerpt of a good explanation of what happens from MIT's School of Engineering: “When it’s humid, I’m drenched,” says Patricia Christie, a lecturer in MIT’s Experimental Studies Group who teaches The Chemistry of Sports. Some research studies do suggest that the human body sweats more as humidity increases, while others suggest that sweat eventually decreases. But what’s really sopping Christie is that the sweat’s just not evaporating as fast. Normally, the body cools itself by opening pores on the skin and releasing water and salts. As the water evaporates, it transfers the body’s heat to the air. Because water has a high latent heat, which is the heat required to change liquid water to vapor, this process usually carries away enough heat to do a good job of cooling the body.”It’s a fabulous system,” says Christie. But the rate at which water—or in this case, sweat—evaporates depends on how much water is already in the air. On dry days, sweat evaporates quickly, which means it also carries away heat faster. On humid days, when the air is already saturated with water, sweat evaporates more slowly..."
Photo credit above: "Blood type, metabolism, exercise, shirt color and even drinking beer can make individuals especially delicious to mosquitoes." Photo by Flickr user Johan J. Ingles-Le Nobel.
Surviving The Inevitable Summer Power Outage. Here's an excerpt of a story at Popular Mechanics with some interesting details and data nuggets: "Summer is blackout season - when heat waves bring on extra air-conditioning use, and extra air-conditioning use taxes the power grid and leads to rolling blackouts. And while the power grid in the U.S. is relatively stable—99.9 percent stable if you factor out weather-related outages, according to the Electric Power Research Institute—power outages are a year-round fact of life. A growing population, along with more homes that cover more area, has meant that hurricanes, wildfires, and other disasters impact more people and have led to a staggering increase in power outages. According to Dr. Massoud Amin, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Minnesota, 500,000 people per day in the U.S. lose power for at least two hours. Between 2005 and 2010 there were 272 power outages that each affected more than 50,000 people. In 2011 alone there were 136 weather-related power outages that snuffed out 178 million meters. The economic toll is equally intense, costing between $80 billion and $188 billion annually..."
Air Pollution Causes Millions Of Deaths Each Year. Why Do We Let It Happen? EmaxHealth has the story; here's the introduction: "Air pollution that is implicated for a number of health issues including cardiovascular disease, stroke and respiratory ailments is found in a new study to kill more than 2 million people annually. The question is why do we let it happen? The finding, published in the Journal of Environmental Health, highlights the need for community and individual actions to protect human health that we should all take seriously. Smog that comes from the ozone layer contributes to premature death from inhalation of fine particulate matter resulting in inflammation – the root cause of disease..."
Acquisition of gesture-based control company PrimeSenseThe first reveal came from Apple reportedly offering $280 million for the Israeli company PrimeSense, which created the motion sensing technology first used in Microsoft’s Kinect sensor. PrimeSense’s technology, which “sees” everything in front of its sensor in three dimensions, can be used for everything from 3D scanning the insides of buildings to giving sight to industrial robots. But that’s not why Apple wants PrimeSense..."
Photo credit above: "Televisions won't seem so commodified once Apple marks them up by 30%." AP/Fang Yingzhong
What State Is At The Highest Risk For A Real "Sharknado"? Wait, you didn't catch this movie on the SyFy Channel last week? I've seen a lot of things in my 40 year weather career, but a tornado brimming with sharks isn't one of them. Not yet. Will climate change bring Sharknadoes to Florida in the years to come? We can only hope. Here's a "story" from Film School Rejects that made me laugh.